| ← Previous episode
← Previous film
|Navigation in production order||Next →|
|Season 6 episode|
Broadcast season 7 episode
|Directed by||Frank Marino|
|First air date||24 June, 2010|
"Rebirth" is the eighty-ninth episode of Futurama, the first of the sixth production season and the first of the seventh broadcast season. It aired on 24 June, 2010, on Comedy Central. After the crash of the Planet Express ship, Fry awakes to find himself and the Professor the only ones left. But luckily, the Professor has a way to give rebirth to the remainder of the crew.
- 1 The Story
- 2 Production
- 3 Reception
- 4 Themes
- 5 Additional Info
- 6 References
- 7 External Links
Cold Opening: "Yeah, we're back."
In the original airing of this episode, the Hypnotoad appears on screen, and Bender's voice announces that people will forget the series was ever cancelled "by idiots" and later revived "by bigger idiots." The scene changes to Fry walking into Professor Farnsworth's laboratory, asking why his hair is frizzy and why he is covered in burns. The Professor explains that when the crew entered a wormhole at the end of Into the Wild Green Yonder, they emerged near Earth through the "Panama Wormhole", Earth's main channel for shipping. Zapp Brannigan, aboard the Nimbus flagship, damages the Planet Express Ship, causing it to crash in a large explosion with the Nimbus outside of the Planet Express headquarters. Professor Farnsworth survives due to his full body "safety sphere device", suffering only "tribial bray dablage", while Fry appears to be undamaged, save for severe burnmarks.
The rest of the crew - not so lucky at all, as revealed to Fry.
Act I: "Move over God - Prepare for rebirth!"
The Professor revives everyone killed in the crash using adult stem cells (harvested from perfectly healthy adults he killed to get these stem cells) and a birthing machine, except Leela, who enters an irreversible coma. Bender also experiences difficulty during the rebirth. The Professor fits one of his doomsday devices to power him. The device generates excess power, and Bender is forced to continue partying endlessly or else he will explode.
Act II: "Can you believe she wore a tank top to my funeral?"
Fry, in his despair over Leela, makes a robot version of her at the Build-A-Bot Workshop. Using recordings made by surveillance cameras all over the Planet Express building, Hermes recreates Leela's personality and memories for the robot. The robot Leela is now horrified to learn of the human Leela's predicament.
As Farnsworth cannot wake the human Leela, she is taken, pursuant to her final wishes, to a planet where she will be eaten by a Cyclops-devouring monster known as the Cyclophage. At the service, Bender's obnoxious partying wakes Leela, who is shocked to see Fry kissing Robot Leela.
Act III: "So that's why I'm so amazed of these things I already knew!"
The Cyclophage approaches, and the crew escapes in the ship. As the ship takes off, the Cyclophage attaches itself to the underside of the ship, unbeknownst to the crew.
Back on Earth, Fry begins to question that either Leela loves him. Leela hears him telling himself that he only loved Robot Leela because she was so much like the real Leela. He also says that he thought Leela loved him, but was wrong as usual. Leela appears to him and convinces him otherwise. Robot Leela sees this, and a fight breaks out between the two Leelas. Fry is handed a gun by Amy and told to shoot one, but accidentally shoots himself, only to expose that he too is a robot.
The Professor then reveals what really happened when the ship crashed. Fry, attempting to shield Leela, was almost completely obliterated by the explosion. The Professor attempted to revive Fry in the birth machine, but this did not have any discernible effect. Leela, in her despair over Fry's death, made a robot version of him and generated his personality for the robot. However, a malfunction caused Leela to receive a severe electric shock, putting her into a coma, and the robot Fry to be badly burned and lost his memory.
At the end of this exposition, Human Fry unexpectedly emerges from the birthing machine, having finally absorbed the stem cells. Robot Fry and Robot Leela declare their love for each other, and leave together, leaving the human Fry and Leela to each other.
Bender decides he is fed up with constant partying and begins to vibrate with the excess energy. The Cyclophage suddenly emerges, and attempts to eat Leela. Bender's severe vibrations cause one of his eyes to fall out, and the Cyclophage swallows him, believing Bender to be a cyclops. The device explodes, killing the creature. Bender emerges intact and the Professor declares that Bender expended his excess energy, making it unnecessary for him to keep partying. The crew leave in order to celebrate, and Zapp Brannigan emerges from the birthing machine with a "wheeee!"
- Further information: Season 6#Production
As the first episode of a new run, the production first and foremost focused on continuing from Into the Wild Green Yonder's cliffhanger ending. David X. Cohen explained in an early interview, before the confirmation was even near, that he did consider what to do with the position they ended in, almost daily, which Matt Groening called "painted [themselves] slightly into a corner". While disagreeing on the ease, they were both in agreement that it could and should be resolved in respect with the film.
At the San Diego Comic-Con 2009, Matt Groening and David X. Cohen were asked once again about the issue. Matt Groening wanted to ignore it entirely by then, while Cohen stated that they would address it, but only for a single episode.
The first table read for this episode began on 7 August, 2009, according to Maurice LaMarche and Katey Sagal, the following week, Maurice LaMarche revealed that the recording session was under way. And as of 20 August, 2009, the recording sessions for this episode have ended, and moved on to the table readings of the next episode.
Beginning on 6 May, 2010, Comedy Central's online newsletter, Comedy Central Insider, began releasing various pictures to tease the premiere every weekday until 24 June, 2010.
According to the commentaries for the episode, David X. Cohen and Matt Groening had a completely different idea for the return of the show. In it, the crew would appear in another universe, or a distant part of our universe, as a result of passing through the wormhole at the end of Into the Wild Green Yonder. Fry and Leela would wake up in a beautiful paradise of natural beauty, and are just about to start kissing and making out when they realize that they are in a zoo inclosure.
An alien race has captured the crew, and want to breed humans. While Leela is turned off by this and loses interest, Fry is even more turned on by the crowds watching them. The alien race then throws in Zapp Brannigan to have two males fighting over one female. At this point, Matt Groening "very wisely" suggested that the crew would return to Earth, instead, and that the series would pretty much continue where it left off.
The "humans in a zoo" concept was later used in the episode "Fry and Leela's Big Fling".
"Rebirth" aired 24 June, 2010, 10pm EST on Comedy Central followed by "In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela", and, according to Nielsen Ratings, was watched by 2.923 million viewers. It received a 1.8/3 household rating and 1.6/5 of adults between 18 and 49. Indeed, the airing of "Rebirth" tied for most adults between 18 and 49 watching television that Thursday evening. Comedy Central went on to comment that it was the highest rated Thursday night that year and the highest Thursday primetime in the history of the network.
"Rebirth" received positive to mixed reviews. IGN's Robert Canning rated it 7.5 (good), and noted that "[w]hile the big laughs may be few, 'Rebirth' still delivers an interesting story using many of the familiar tropes of this amazingly well rounded sci-fi world". IF Magazine's Carl Cortez graded both episodes together a B+, Firefox News' Ariel Ponywether gave it an A+, Paste Magazine gave it 8.0 (commendable) and UGO's Alex Zalben called it "good".
Overall, reviewers agreed that "Rebirth" had issues with its story with issues noted to its pace and being many things at once, but generally felt it was a decent episode. Though, as IGN's Robert Canning noted, they weren't certain if this was the return to the Futurama they "knew and loved".
- The episode is among the few media to have its title featured in it and only one-word long.
- The title caption for the episode is the same as the title. This also happens with "Where No Fan Has Gone Before" and "Reincarnation".
- Leela tells Fry that if he had died, she probably would have built a copy of him too; as it turns out in the twist, however, that's exactly what she did.
- With this episode, Lauren Tom and Phil LaMarr have officially been promoted to regular cast members.
- The doomsday device the Professor uses to power Bender looked similar to the Spheroboom which Bender stole from the Professor, and again from - then used against - the Scammer Aliens in Bender's Big Score. However, this doomsday device is smaller than the Spheroboom.
- In some reruns, the first line that Bender says while the Hypnotoad is shown on screen is, "This has been a test of the Emergency Hypnotoad System. Had this been an actual hypnosis, you would go limp and watch whatever crap comes on next. Comin' up next: Futurama!", after which he snaps his fingers. This is also the version seen on the DVD. The version from the original airing is included as a deleted scene.
- Rebirth is one of only four episodes of season 6 to contain the full opening sequence, the others being "That Darn Katz!", "Benderama", "Yo Leela Leela" and "All the Presidents' Heads". Beginning with "In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela", the opening sequence becomes abridged by cutting some parts of the flight of the Planet Express Ship and eliminating the opening cartoon.
- Sky1 aired this episode on 22 July, 2011, after being originally scheduled for premiere six months earlier on 7 January, 2011.
- When this episode airs in local syndication on ABC affiliates Bender's monologue and the joke about Comedy Central is removed, this maybe due to the fact that these episodes play right after "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings". So if anyone doesn't see season 5 they might be confused about the ship crashing.
- Kif is supported by a system of fluid-filled bladders, as in "Where the Buggalo Roam".
- This is the second episode in which Leela falls into a coma, the first being "The Sting".
- Once again, we see Bender has difficulty getting up from lying on his back, as proven in "Crimes of the Hot".
- When Hermes profiles Leela's personality, the computer says Leela's shoe size is 12. In "A Clone of My Own" and The Beast with a Billion Backs, Bender addresses Leela as "big boots". Also, in "Anthology of Interest II", the Cute Witch of the North (Amy) asks Leela whether her boots come in "Women's sizes".
- The surveillance video debuted in "Bendless Love" where it was used to identify the person bending things around Planet Express.
- Fry's afro makes its first appearance since "Anthology of Interest I". It will appear again in "A Clockwork Origin".
- Stem cells were actually revealed, or at least assumed, to not be controversial in "Three Hundred Big Boys" when Professor Farnsworth used them at Geneworks to temporatily make himself appear younger.
- The Professor never mentioned his stem cell therapy to Fry in "Three Hundred Big Boys", and Fry is the only one who might take issue with it. Additionally, it isn't mentioned whether the stem cells the Professor used previously are adult stem cells or infant stem cells.
- When the second Fry comes out of the stem-pool, he calls his robot self a "dork." This is the second time Fry has treated a duplicate of himself badly. In Bender's Big Score, he also makes fun of his time duplicate at the cryogenic lab.
- Fry smells the milk before drinking it, like he did in Bender's Game.
- When the Professor describes the Panama Wormhole, he is referencing Comedy Central. When he says that "[they're] on it now", he is referencing the revival of Futurama by Comedy Central, beginning with this episode.
- The Build-A-Bot Workshop is a reference to the Build-A-Bear Workshop, and, possibly, the Toynami toyline.
- The Professor says Leela "went all Blade Runner".
- Studio 1²2¹3³ is an allusion to Studio 54 of New York (1²=1, 2¹=2, 3³=27; 1*2*27=54).
- At Studio 1²2¹3³, Bender dresses like John Travolta in the film Saturday Night Fever.
- When Robot Fry and Robot Leela shed their skins, they talk like Terminators.
- When the cast is rebirthed, the first few are introduced by name, and the last ones out announced as "The Rest", a call back to the original theme song of Gilligan's Island where the Professor and Mary Ann are introduced as "The Rest" although only two characters remained to be named. This is due to their designation as "second-billed co-stars". The same reference is made in "Less than Hero".
- When Leela is discovered to be in an irreversible coma, Bender sings, "Coma coma coma coma coma coma-leela!" This is a parody of the Culture Club song "Karma Chameleon".
- Fry sees a cinema showing the film That Darn Cyclops! which reminds him of Leela. The film's name is a reference to the 1968 film That Darn Cat!, also referenced in the episode title "That Darn Katz!".
- Bender having to constantly dance in order for the doomsday devise to not detonate is a reference to the 1994 film Speed, in which a bus cannot slow down without exploding.
- The Panama Wormhole is named after the Panama Canal, a man-made channel for shipping, through the isthmus of Panama between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Before it was opened, ships going between the east and west coasts of North America had to travel around South America.
- Coincidentally, the title of this episode was also the title of the two-part pilot of Batman Beyond.
- The rebirth sequence bears some similarities to the Cylon resurrection tanks of the series New Battlestar Galactica.
- Using recordings, e.g. security camera videos, to develop the Robot Leela is in reference to the creation of virtual Zoe Graystone in Caprica.
- The cyclophage seems to be a nod to Mother Brain, from the Super NES game Super Metroid. Indeed, when Bender finally kills it, its color changes to a tone similar to the one that Mother Brain changes to when she is killed.
- When Fry straightens his "Fry-fro" in the first scene, we see his sleeves, which are intact; seconds later, we see holes in his jacket and severe burns underneath them.
- When Robot Leela says she loves Robot Fry, she is wearing a wristlojackimator but it is gone when she raises her hand again.
- When Bender comes out of the Cyclophage his second eye, which had previously fallen out and attracted the beast, is shown intact. He turns his back and when the camera shows him again he is back to just one, which then slides to the side allowing him to screw in a new one.
- How did Zapp end up with his head still perfectly intact without using a safety sphere like the ones Professor Farnsworth and his crew used in the Planet Express ship?
- It might be that the Nimbus possesses similar technology.
- Zapp can't talk, or even live for that matter, with just his head because he doesn't have lungs.
- There are several instances in the series of decapitated heads speaking, and living, despite the lack of lungs. For instance, Hermes is decapitated in Bender's Big Score, but continues to talk, even without the head-in-jar technology.
- After Fry asks how to tell the two fighting Leelas apart, Leela is temporarily drawn with two pupils, with one focused on the robot Leela and one turning to look at Fry.
- The Professor tells Bender that if he stops partying for a single second, he'll explode. However, the first time he tells Bender this, Bender is standing still for about ten seconds and nothing happens.
- The Professor may have been guessing or exaggerating.
- Although it was already a mistake that everyone had reverted to their normal outfits at the end of Into the Wild Green Yonder, LaBarbara was still in her Feminista outfit at the end of the film, but in Farnsworth's flashback she reverted back to her normal clothes as well; Zapp is also wearing his normal uniform but he likely took the opportunity to change clothing.
- After Zapp shouts out his victory yodel through the speaker in the Planet Express ship, the speaker is shown again as Fry and Leela kiss, but disappears for the rest of the flashback.
- The first scene shows the exterior of the Planet Express headquarters, but the giant explosion crater is not there.
- The closed captioning indicates that Randy says, "No, spank you" but he's clearly saying "No, thank you".
- The buttons that activate the safety spheres appear and disappear after one shot.
- Amy's skeleton has 4 ribs while the others have 5. Scruffy is missing one rib bone from his right side.
- This could be explained: Amy, a Martian, may have less ribs than people from Earth, or simply had hers removed to be skinnier. Scruffy may have had a rib taken out in the past.
- When Fry is looking out the window, the moon is much further away the second time you see it from the same view.
- In "Why Must I Be A Crustacean In Love", it is said that Dr. Zoidberg is an invertebrate but his head is shown attached to a spine when the professor removes the "horror curtain".
- Robot Fry and Robot Leela look completely different when they shed their human exteriors than when they were originally built by Fry and Leela. Unlike their change in voice, this is never addressed.
- During the opening ship crash, Fry says they have "lost power to the forward Game Boy", although he is clearly using a Nintendo Entertainment System controller.
- He maybe playing emulator of a Gameboy. Nintendo devices don't last a decade, let alone a thousand years. He might have gotten an attachment to go with the emulator.
- When the Professor is explaining that Fry died in the crash to save Leela, he says what is left of him just bubbled away in the stem cells, but afterwards he states the brew was yet to be finished until the "Fry-fro" scene (though it may be that it was because of the first attempt to revive Fry that the brew was perfected).
- When the Professor revives all the characters, Bender couldn't be revived with stem cells because he doesn't have living tissue. However, this is clearly a joke, as made evident by Fry's question.
- The fugitive status of the crew is never formally resolved.
- The Professor seems okay with the idea of Leela or Fry dating a robot in this episode. However, in "Proposition Infinity" he is against robosexuality.
- When Fry has a miniature Fry and Leela made out of Legos on the table, Lego Leela is facing Lego Fry's side, while in the next shot they are standing side by side. Then, in the shot after that, they are back in their original position. Fry couldn't have time to move them.
[The Hypnotoad is shown on screen.]
Bender: [Voice over.] On the count of three, you will awaken feeling refreshed, as if Futurama had never been cancelled by idiots and then brought back by bigger idiots. One... two... [Snaps fingers.]
[First lines of the episode, Fry comes in with his hair in an afro like in "Hell Is Other Robots".]
Fry: Professor, my Fry-fro's all frizzy.
Fry: That's all.
Bender: [Casually, while filing his "nails".] Yeah, we're back.
[Everyone else cheers.]
Farnsworth: Come on, stem cells, work your astounding scientific nonsense!
Fry: Fetal stem cells? Aren't those controversial?
Farnsworth: In your time, yes. But nowadays... shut up! Besides, these are adult stem cells harvested from perfectly healthy adults, whom I killed for their stem cells.
Bender: [Sounding weak and covered in stem-cells.] Aagh, I'm dying... I need mouth-to-ass resuscitation.
Fry: I'm on it.
[Fry moves his head to Bender's ass. Blowing sounds are heard.]
Fry: It's not working.
Bender: [Laughing.] I die happy knowing you fell for that.
Fry: I need cheering up Bender. I dunno... you wanna go party tonight?
Bender: I hate partying. If only I didn't have so much crunk in my ba-dun-ka-dunk!
Leela: There's no room for two captain's butts in this chair!
Robot Leela: There would be if you'd have taken a spin class instead of lounging around in a coma!
The Professor: ...and destroyed both of their short-term memories!
Robot Fry: So that's why I'm so amazed of these things I already knew!
Robot Fry: Fry!
Fry: Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realize I was already here. Wait, what's with all the Leelas?
Robot Fry: Trust me, don't ask.
Fry: Okay, dork.
Fry: Poke harder, damn it!
Farnsworth: I'm poking as hard as I can!
Leela: Bender, shut the hell up!
[Bender and everyone but Fry and robot Leela stare in amazement. Bender vibrates with the doomsday device.]
Farnsworth: Bender! Stop shutting the hell up!
Bender: Oh, right. Leela's back, as if I care. Woooo.
- ^ a b White, James (20 February 2009). "9 Odd Things We Now Know About Futurama". Totalfilm. Retrieved on 11 June 2009.
- ^ a b Ryan, Kyle (25 March 2009). "Matt Groening". A.V. Club. Retrieved on 11 June 2009.
- ^ Iverson, Dan (25 July 2009). "SDCC 09: The Future of Futurama". IGN TV. Retrieved on 26 July 2009.
- ^ "Smarty" (07 August 2009). "By Hawking's chair! Futurama is back! (News thread) (No spoilers)" (Page 15). (PEEL.) Retrieved on 07 August 2009.
- ^ Keller, Joel (07 August 2009). "Katey Sagal talks about contentious Futurama negotiations - TCA Report". TV Squad. Retrieved on 07 August 2009.
- ^ Sánchez, JavieR (13 August 2009). "Into the Wild Green Yonder premiere at Comedy Central". The Futurama Point. Retrieved on 16 August 2009.
- ^ "i_c_weiner" (20 August 2009). "By Hawking's chair! Futurama is back! (News thread) (No spoilers)" Page 17. (PEEL.) Retrieved on 21 August 2009.
- ^ Lovece, Frank (28 August 2009). "'Futurama' finds a new future on Comedy Central". Newsday. Retrieved on 28 August 2009.
- ^ Fritz, Steve (15 October 2009). "Back To The FUTURAMA W/ Co-Creator David X. Cohen". Newsarama. Retrieved on 07 November 2009.
- ^ Sneak Preview on YouTube. (YouTube.) 04 October 2009. Retrieved on 04 October 2009.
- ^ Piccoli, Sean (01 October 2009). "Animation Supercon to feature Futurama reunion, sneak peak at new episodes". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved on 01 October 2009.
- ^ JavieR (18 March 2010). "Futurama new season teaser trailer from Comedy Central". The Futurama Point. Retrieved on 18 March 2010.
- ^ DVD Volume Five: Commentaries for "Rebirth".
- ^ a b "TravisYanan" (25 June 2010). Thursday 6/24/10. (MediaWeek.) Retrieved on 26 June 2010.
- ^ a b c Ponywether, Ariel (25 June 2010). "Review -- Futurama: "Rebirth" and "In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela"". Firefox News. Retrieved on 26 June 2010.
- ^ a b "It was tied for the highest-rated show in adults 18-49 in all TV on Thursday's primetime, and was the highest-rated show among men 18-24 and men 18-34. Comedy Central said it helped the network to its highest-rated night in 2010 and its highest-rated Thursday primetime in the history of the network."
Gough, Paul J. (28 June 2010). "'Futurama' returns with strong ratings". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved on 28 June 2010.
- ^ a b c Canning, Robert (21 June 2010). "Futurama: "Rebirth" Review". IGN. Retrieved on 26 June 2010.
- ^ Cortez, Carl (24 June 2010). "Early Review: FUTURAMA - SEASON SIX - 'Rebirth'/'In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela' - Season Premiere". IF Magazine. Retrieved on 26 June 2010.
- ^ Gandert, Sean (25 June 2010). "Futurama Review: "Rebirth" 6.1". Paste Magazine. Retrieved on 26 June 2010.
- ^ Zalben, Alex (24 June 2010). "Futurama’s Back – And It’s Good!". UGO. Retrieved on 26 June 2010.
- ^ S., Susan (25 June 2010). "Futurama "Rebirth" Season 6 Episode 1- Review". Gather Entertainment. Retrieved on 26 June 2010.